About the Des Moines Community Jazz Center Hall of Fame

Des Moines may not be the JAZZ "capital of the world", but that hasn't stopped the Greater Des Moines Community Jazz Center (CJC) from recognizing the musical contribuitions of the city's finest and most influential musicians.

Started in 2001, the Des Moines Jazz Hall of Fame was established to hoor those musicians who have been proud to call Des Moines (or Central Iowa) home. Musicians selected for the Des moines Jazz Hall of Fame have not only influenced future generations of musicians, but have provided the city's jazz fans with years of musical adventure and enjoyment.

Each October since 2001, Des Moines' jazz fans have gathered at Adventureland Inn in Altoona (just east of Des Moines) to celebrate the contributions of many talented and dedicated individuals.  In addition, the CJC presents Special Recognition awards to musicians, jazz educators, promoters or others that have contributed to the JAZZ tradition in Central Iowa.   Another Award known as "The Bobby Dawson Award" is also presented to a student musician involved in CJC jam sessions and activities.  For information on upcoming Hall of Fame events, contact Phyllis Leaverton at 515 / 276-0777.

Hall of Fame

Ross Cornelison -2002 Inductee

Ross Began playing music around Des Moines while still in high school in the early 1950’s. He continues to be in demand 50 years later! 

Although Ross is known for his outstanding bass playing, he actually began his musical career as a saxophonist, joining the musician’s union in 1952. the bass became his instrument of choice shortly after that.

Ross worked at many of the nightclubs associated with the “Center Street scene.” In addition to playing in small groups with many of the city’s most notable players, Ross has worked with the Des Moines Big Band, organized the Variety Telethon Band and has been called on to perform with nationally known acts making stops in Des Moines.